Then I messed up the ribbing and had to rip out the first 6 rows and start again. About 17 times. I spent an entire 3 hour car ride this summer working on that sweater, only to have to rip it all out upon arrival, when a fatal flaw was realized. (Yes, I was the passenger, not the driver on that trip!)
Though I stopped counting, I believe I now have about 16 hours in a sweater that still does not exist. Everyone said to start with something easy, a scarf-how about booties? Suggestions, pleadings poured in as I confided in person after person about my frustration with learning to knit. My mother said, " you have to knit way down on the needles, you are knitting too tight", my neighbor observed, "you are working too close to the ends of the needles, move down" , my old friend gathered that I was doing something wrong with the ribbing stitches, but just what, no one could tell.
In my true fashion, I furiously pushed on, trying the same thing over and over and always really believing that this time, I would get it, this time, I would start the sweater. I could envision it finished, the Tiffany's blue wool would be so cute on Ava with her blue eyes. I could smell the yarn, all finished into a tiny little cardigan-that is how one is supposed to get focused on meeting a goal, right? Envision all of the details of what it will be like when you accomplish it... Yeah right.
My husband finally intervened. He couldn't take it anymore. He walked across the street and asked our neighbor what his wife was doing. "Meagan needs help knitting. Now." Several minutes later, my neighbor's wife appeared fully equipped with her knitting bag. Ahh, I call that divine intervention! She watched me knit, and in seconds, revealed the months long mistake I had been making. Repeatedly making. I needed to pull my yarn to the front of the needles prior to making a purl stitch. That was it. Who knew!?!
So I promised to practice, and not start the sweater again, until I had really mastered ribbing. But alas, I lied. I practiced ribbing for oh, about 6 rows and then, like an addict, ripped open the box hiding the Tiffany's blue sweater yarn and proceeded to stay up until 3 a.m. making the sweater. In the morning my neighbor came by to inquire about how my knitting was going. I had to reveal that I hadn't quite practiced as long as I was instructed, but that I had started the sweater. Again. " But look!" I exclaimed, as I showed her my progress, "I think it will really work this time, really!"
And I really, really believe that this time, it will.